Today, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) took a baby-step in the Justina Pelletier case. In an underhanded move, DCF officials released a so-called unification plan to the press before presenting it to Justina’s parents.
Instead of returning Justina home to her family, DCF proposed moving Justina to the JRI Susan Wayne Center in Thompson, Connecticut, about an hour from the home of Linda and Lou Pelletier. Liberty Counsel and the Pelletiers released a point-by-point response to the so-call reunification plan.
“Ironically, DCF says that it will support reunification if the Pelletiers follow Tufts Medical Center care plan, which is what the Pelletiers wanted to do 14-months ago when Boston Children’s Hospital created a new plan and brought in DCF to enforce it,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.
“DCF needs to give the Pelletiers assurances that it will follow Tufts Medical Center recommendations. In addition, the Pelletiers must be given accurate information and open lines of communication with Dr. Mark Korson and other Tufts Medical Center healthcare providers,” said Staver.
“DCF needs to act on the best interest of Justina and return her home by her sixteenth birthday on May 24, not continue covering the tracks of incompetent bureaucrats who should be investigated and held accountable,” Staver said. “In one point of the letter, DCF disingenuously insists that only the court can return Justina home, but later DCF lists conditions for her release. DCF and Governor Deval Patrick only need to inform the court that Justina should return home, and it will happen immediately,” Staver pointed out.
DCF proposes that Justina be housed at the behavioral wing of the JRI Susan Wayne Center, instead of a medical center. “The psychotherapy experimentation forced on Justina has brought her to the brink of death. Justina does not need more behavioral modification; she needs medical treatment and physical therapy, to say nothing of her educational and social needs,” said Staver.
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“DCF has been dragging its feet on this case for 14-months. I am concerned of the open-ended nature of this so-called reunification plan,” said Staver. “DCF’s history in this case raises serious concerns about the lack of specific deadlines. DCF cannot be trusted,” said Staver.
“Liberty Counsel filed a Petition for Habeas Corpus at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. If DCF really wants to return Justina home, DCF can advise the court it has no objection to this Petition. Those who fail to act when it is in their power to do so and those who have harmed Justina will be held accountable,” concluded Staver.